British Gas buys home automation platform AlertMe for $100M
AlertMe’s software is modular, with separate capabilities for analytics of home energy use; control over heating, cooling; and generalized home automation that unifies an ecosystem of more than 50 products from 22 brands. The company’s Omnia platform spans in-home device hubs, cloud services and analytics for partners to build home automation deployments including being behind Lowe's Iris product line.
British Gas is the largest U.K. energy company, serving more than 11 million homes and half a million businesses. It has held a minority stake in AlertMe since 2010 (The company was founded back in 2006), and has used AlertMe’s software in products and services like the smartphone-controlled Hive heating system. Today’s acquisition signals larger ambitions in the home automation arena.
“This acquisition underlines our commitment to helping customers manage their homes, including their energy, more easily,” said Nina Bhatia, Commercial Director for British Gas, in a statement. “With access to new technology and skills we’re strengthening our capability at British Gas to develop a family of products that will put people in control of their homes in a way that’s simply never been possible before.”
Just as Nest leveraged its smart thermostat as a hub for connecting diverse devices in the home, British Gas is betting that its customers’ existing home energy infrastructure, like smart meters, will provide a base from which to expand into the broader market of full-home automation.